Embry plants a tower crane at 21 North May

Embry, 21 North May, West Loop
The Embry tower crane stub. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it.

The tower crane has been planted, and planted deep, at Embry in the West Loop. So deep, in fact, that I not been tipped off to the first segment being delivered (Thanks, @jrock1449!) I might have walked past the site without noticing it.

Okay, that’s ridiculous. I definitely would have still peered through the fence to see what was going on. But the crane really is planted deep in the ground, so the top base section sits below the height of the construction fence.

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Say the word, and 311 West Huron will start tearing up the parking lot

An overhead view of 311 West Huron. (The Brown Line is my drone.)

There’s a new office building coming soon to the River North neighborhood, and equipment stands at the ready to dispense of the current surface parking lot and start construction on 311 West Huron.

311 West Huron is a joint venture between North Wells Capital and Urban Innovations. The 15-story building, designed by NORR, will include about 145,000 rentable square feet, and have 130 indoor parking spaces. Chicago Yimby has lots of details. And Crain’s reported in February that there’s already an anchor tenant lined up.

There are ground-breakers from Quality Excavation standing at the ready as we speak, with construction fencing all around the parking lot. It sure looks like they’re expecting to get started soon. Site prep and the first building permit seem imminent.

That new tower crane has Tandem’s 1044 West Van Buren going vertical

1044 West Van Buren was part of Chicago’s mini growth spurt of tower cranes in late May. And it’s doing what tower cranes do: turning empty lots into new buildings. This one in particular, designed by Antunovich Associates for Tandem (with Adjustable Concrete on concrete duty), will rise to 18 stories and deliver 196 apartments to the south end of the West Loop.

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1044 West Van Buren erects the first of the week’s three tower cranes

Tandem and Adjustable Concrete Construction got the tower crane in the air at 1044 West Van Buren early last week. It would kick off a very busy few days, crane-wise. And it means this 18-story apartment tower by Antunovich Associates can start going vertical. And we’re all about the verticality.

I got my first look at the new rig Thursday.

633 South La Salle has the permits to get started. Has it started?

Construction can be confusing when you don’t pay close attention. There’s a world of activity on a site one day, then the next day all the equipment is gone, the dirt’s been smoothed over, and it looks like the lot has been abandoned.

And that’s my segue for the first visit to 633 South LaSalle in the South Loop. 633 got its first permit back in May of 2019, allowing for construction of an 18-story, 117-unit residential tower. Then, crickets. That permit was reinstated in April of 2020, but, pandemic.
Now, two new permits have been issued this spring: the first, for caissons, on March 31. The second, for the full building, on May 10. These two latest permits have a new general contractor: Clark Construction. Berkelhamer and FitzGerald are the architecture firms. The Collective in NYC is the developer.

So that’s the permit sitch. What I can’t speak to is the progress. Like I said, construction can be confusing if you’re not paying attention. The current state of the 633 South LaSalle site looks like the caisson aftermath, when the slate looks clean and ready for foundations to be dug. But I can’t find anyone with caisson photos on the web. (I’m not the only one taking photos of such things, you know.) As a result, I can’t even tell you whether work has begun here.

What I can tell you is where to find more info about this co-living development:
Chicago YIMBY
REJournals
Urbanize Chicago
Real Deal Chicago

Bonus gallery: The buildings on either side of 633 are magnificent.



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There are piles of piles to drive at Embry

Piles o’ plies at Embry

Caissons are done, but foundation work continues for Embry at 21 North May in the West Loop. A 270-degree tour around the site last week shows piles have been driven into the ground, and a bunch more sat at the ready for their turn in the soil. That’s the firm of McHugh & McHugh (Construction & Concrete) on the job out there, getting this 16-story, 58-unit condo building from Sulo Development ready to go vertical. And remember, they’ll be getting a shiny yellow Liebherr tower crane soon, too.

1044 West Van Buren joins Chicago’s latest tower crane parade

The stub is in at 1044 West Van Buren

The 18-story, 196-unit apartment tower by developer and general contractor Tandem took a big step forward this week, planting a tower crane stub in the ground at 1044 West Van Buren in the West Loop. The crane will be erected early next week, I’m told, in what looks to be nice weather.

My first visit here was April 7; I went back May 1 and saw some digging had been done. The kind of digging you expect *after* caisson work is done; the kind of digging that makes you think “hole up; did I miss caissons?” Yep. Somehow, I completely missed caisson work, which must have been done with lightning speed. Oh well. You snooze, you miss out. Or something.

Here are more stub pics, and a few shots of foundation work from the May 1 visit:

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Proof of caisson work abounds at Embry

Sure, if you’re a neighbor along the first block of North May Street, you can feel the progress (to which one friend has attested.) For the rest of us, the best way to find out if caisson work on Embry (21 N May St) has begun in the West Loop is to go take a look. We went. We saw. We photographed.

McHugh Construction and McHugh Concrete, general and concrete contractors, respectively, got the full permit to build on April 5. A demolition permit to get 25 North May out of the way was issued January 28. We’re hoping to see a tower crane permit any day now.

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The glass is more than half full at 345 North Morgan

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1044 West Van Buren has a fresh canvas to begin construction

Coming to this space: 1044 West Van Buren.

There’s now a vacant lot where 1044 West Van Buren will soon begin construction.

Tandem is building an 18-story, 196-unit apartment tower designed by Antunovich Associates here. Tandem will be their own general contractor, just as they were at Avra West Loop across the street. They got a tower crane permit on March 25, and the building permit followed on March 30. The two modest buildings previously occupying the site were issued demolition permits on September 30 of 2021. They’re long gone; hence the aforementioned blank canvas.

Tandem plans to have 1044 West Van Buren open for residents next spring.